Saturday, August 31, 2019

REVIEW: Becca Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Scent - 5 (excellent)
Hydration - 6 (incredible)
Wear - 4 (very good)
Longevity - 4 (very good)

I am so obsessed with this product. It is innovative and different, and I am truly impressed by it. Let me jump into the breakdown.

The packaging is stunning, as is to be expected from Becca. It has a clear, sturdy plastic jar, with a silver finished lid that has the brand name stamped into it. The inside of the package has a netted opening that allows you to dip in and get powder without over doing it. It also has a plastic closure that comes down to protect your powder so it doesn't spill out or have to much come up when not in use.

It is pretty scentless, although I do detect a tiny hint of vanilla when I use it, but it is hyper subtle. What's crazy about this powder is how hydrating it is. It's been called "wet powder" online, and that's honestly accurate. It gives me a very hydrated look and feeling, and doesn't dry out, my already dry skin! It also works great after a long day of work to touch up my look by revitalizing my skin and smoothing out and blurring my makeup after it has settled.

When I put it on it definitely doesn't last 24 hours or anything crazy. I need to reapply about half way through the day, but that's all.

As far as longevity, I don't feel a little goes an abnormally long way, but you don't have to use a ton either. A lot of other gurus were criticizing that the container looks like it is half empty, and that there is a minuscule amount of product in it. I went ahead and checked that out. It comes with .35 ounces of powder. After looking at other high end brands that have both pressed and loose powders, that is on the high side of average. Most are .3 ounces or less, while a few have more like .35, .4 and even one brand had .5 ounces. But they are the exceptions it would seem.

Overall I am super impressed with this item, and I am super happy to have added it to my regular routine.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Review: Farmhouse Fresh Green Tea Milk Wash

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Scent - 5 (excellent)
Cleansing - 3 (average)
Gentleness - 2 (not very good)

I got a great little trial set of some Farmhouse Fresh items at a professional trade show. And you guys, I was so excited! Farmhouse Fresh was the bell of the ball at this show! Their massive booth was swamped from all sides every single day. I loved everything about Farm House Fresh and their message! They own their own farms and take great care in making sure their products are botanically based and their ingredients are organic. They also own an animal rescue and sanctuary, and have created a zero waste process. I can get behind all of that!

Unfortunately I could not get behind this cleanser.  The packing is okay. It is physical very pretty, and has the chrome cap and the label is very professional looking. The plastic form the bottle is flexible so it is easy to squeeze, which is important. But the bottle is super top heavy, so it is hard to position the cleanser upside down in order to use every last drop.

It has a very scent that I would describe as coconut cream with a hint of lime and fresh cut grass. Very nice, and very gentle too. It's not a bold or abrasive scent.

The cleansing was okay. I definitely had to precleanse, using water and microfiber towels, as well as additional makeup removers first. The biggest issue I had was that I broke out a lot after using it. After looking at the ingredients (why didn't I do that first!) I saw that it includes 4 ingredients that trigger fungal acne, and 3 comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients.

While the cleanser isn't my favorite, Farm House Fresh as a brand is amazing. They stand for so many wonderful things, and they have a great range of body care (body wash, lotion, etc) that is fantastic. It's gentle, smells wonderful and is made with some of the best stuff. So don't discount them as a brand.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Olaplex just beat L'Oreal USA in a lawsuit, and it's important

Have you ever heard of Olaplex? It's a fairly new brand that launched in June of 2014. Olaplex is a bond builder. They have created a two step system that starts with a serum that your hairstylist puts directly into the color or lightener they use on your hair. According to their website, Olaplex No.1 "rebuilds broken disulfide bonds and begins the process of preventing damage and repairing hair." After using this on you, your stylist is supposed to apply a second step, after they shampoo your hair that "continues to rebuild and restore any remaining broken bonds ensuring the strongest, shiniest, and healthiest hair possible." They have now expanded the line to include an at home treatment (No.3) as well as shampoo, conditioner and styling aids.

Olaplex has swept the nation in the last five years, getting noticed by so many magazines, blogs and beauty gurus I couldn't even begin to list them all! You can see a sampling of their press reviews by clicking here.  On top of that many influencers and celebrities credit their healthy hair to Olaplex and use it religiously. Some of them being Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Drew Barrymore and Julianne Hough, just to name a few.

Hair stylists (like myself) have fallen for this brand. Why? Because it works. When I first heard about it I was a HUGE skeptic. But the proof is in the pudding. I work at a salon where I use Olaplex in every lightening service I do to protect my client's hair, because the hair's health is my number one priority always. And in the age of platinum icy white blondes, and silver gray trends, this product is a Godsend.

Another reason I love Olaplex? It is a small grass roots company, developed by two top notch chemists in a garage, who just wanted to solve a problem. They wanted to help stylists be able to transform hair, without damaging it. YEARS of trial and error, R&D, a sweat went into this product. It was developed in California and is still made in America today.

But just like all successful things, knock offs were sure to come. Soon every brand had their own bond builder that they were promoting. Many saying that while Olaplex may have been the first, they improved upon the technology. L'Oreal USA launched several competitors within their various brands as well. I began using some of the various competitors, and while I some seemed to work in the beginning they did not have the longevity of Olaplex.

But the L'Oreal choices did work, and even looked the same as Olaplex. It was a little too similar if you know what I mean. Olaplex began a long and arduous lawsuit against the world's largest beauty company as soon as they launched their version various brands. And recently Olaplex won! In both the UK and USA, Olaplex has won a lawsuit against L'Oreal for patent infringement. Now you can no longer purchase the first step color and lightener additives made by L'Oreal in the United States or the United Kingdom, including L'Oreal Professional SmartBond, Redken pH Bonder, and Matrix Bond Ultim8.

However L'Oreal isn't letting this stop them. They have pulled the products (as they are legally required to) but are publicly vocalizing their intentions to appeal and put their products back on the shelves. Olaplex has a very strong case against L'Oreal, but L'Oreal has resources and an enormous amount of cash flow. Olaplex has given examples of L'Oreal filing motions, so that Olaplex has to spend time and money paying lawyers to research and defend against those motions, only to have L'Oreal withdraw the motion at the last minute, wasting Olaplex's time and resources. Even if Olaplex has a very strong case, L'Oreal could easily spend them into bankruptcy. To put it plainly, L'Oreal is playing dirty.

Why is this important?

We can not support companies like this. We must work together to spend our money on companies who make ethical choices. Remember when Kylie Jenner was accused of knocking off Vlada MUA's dripping lip art for her packaging? People began to boycott Kylie Cosmetics for hurting another artists business by not properly crediting or paying them. So why would we not do the same to L'Oreal when they are trying to bankrupt an small company and steal their technology?

What can you do?

Don't support L'Oreal. It can be tricky, because this multifaceted beauty conglomerate has several companies under it's umbrella. But you CAN choose to make the switch and do better. Go to and click "brands" to see a full list of what they own, but I am going to list a few of their most popular brands.

  • NYX Professional Makeup
  • Maybeline New York
  • L'Oreal Paris
  • Garnier
  • Kerastase 
  • Pureology
  • Pulp Riot
  • Redken
  • Biolage 
  • Lancome
  • Matrix
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Keihl's
  • Clarisonic

You can also use your social media influence to contact the company directly. Tweet at L'Oreal. Comment on their Instagram Posts, and their facebook posts. Let them know you want them to stop litigation against Olaplex. You can also share this article to get the word out.

Buy Olaplex products! They are very high quality and you will not regret it! And giving the company your business is important! It will help them fund their lawsuit, and it will show them that they have loyal fans in their corner.

Ask your stylist if they use Olaplex, or another bond builder. Make sure they aren't using a competitor from L'Oreal. Even if they use something that isn't Olaplex, that is okay. I personally prefer Olaplex, but other stylists may like the results they get without it, or with other bond builders. But I'd recommend you try to encourage your stylist to not use the items that are being pulled from shelves.

In the end, money talks. And if we put our money where our mouths are, it can make a huge difference.

THE FASHION LAW: L'Oreal USA Must Permanently Pull 9 Infringing Haircare Products From Shelves in Olaplex Case
OLAPLEX BLOG: Legal Update: Olaplex Patent Litigation Victory
LA TIMES: L’Oreal owes Olaplex $91 million for stealing trade secrets

This is hard for me, because I personally use Matrix in my salon, and I have a lot of love for some of their products. But I am choosing to eliminate L'Oreal products in my life where I can, and move away from a giant conglomerate that has proven time and time again that it doesn't have our best interest at heart.

Friday, June 21, 2019

REVIEW: Pro Hair Tie

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Durability - 5 (excellent)
Grip - 5 (excellent)
Ease of Use - 4 (very good)
Comfort - 5 (excellent)
Damage - 5 (excellent)

I am SOLD on these. Hard. I was hooked on the Pony-O for a while, but then I cut my hair shoulder length, and well... the Pony-O doesn't work unless you have long hair. I was back to normal hair ties until I found Pro Hair ties! I am in HEAVEN. These solve all of your hair tie issues!

It comes in an envelope or package (depending on how many you get) and the ties are just loose with a small sticker on them identifying color. Super simple and low waste, which I love. These hair ties are SUPER durable. No joke, my dogs got a hold of one and even played TUG OF WAR with it, and it survived. Granted they didn't play with it for long, but I have rough and tumble pups who are 50 pounds each! I was shocked that I didn't loose this hair tie!

I have given a few out to see how they work for different hair types and the feedback has been amazing. I have heard from my thick-haired friend that they only need ONE hair tie and that it hold all day without slipping. My fine haired friends feel like it has good grip and doesn't budge. I feel the same way. They are super comfortable too.

So what makes these so great? They are made with a super stretchy and durable silicone, and they have a shape that looks almost beaded. There is a firm plastic clasp that works similar to those cheap beaded chains that came on necklaces from vending machines when we were kids? You know the ones! So when you want to take the hair tie out instead of pulling it, you pinch the silicone around the clasp and one side will pop out, and then you just remove it, not tugging required. You can see an image demonstrating that below. They also have a huge variety of colors, which I am a big fan of.

You can pick your up here!

Monday, June 3, 2019

REVIEW: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Foundation

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Coverage - 5 (excellent)
Wear - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)

I have been so impressed by this foundation. The packaging is a gorgeous frosted glass bottle with a silver finished pump and lid. It is described as an "invisible finish" which I thought would mean a tinted moisturizer look. But instead I got a gorgeous medium coverage that built to a full coverage with two layers. But even at full coverage my skin looked like skin. It doesn't have the caked blurred poreless look some people love, so if that's what you are after you should keep looking.

It really lasted so much longer than most of my other foundations, and I rarely have to touch it up. One pump covers my whole face (when applied with a Juno & Co Microfiber Velvet Blending Sponge) and a second gets me at a fuller coverage look which super impresses me.This is my new go-to choice.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Summer Beauty Essentials

June is here and summer is in full swing! In the summer my look changes dramatically. Gone are the vampy berry lips, full coverage foundations and sweaters, and out come the sandals and beach waves, along with a lighter more natural look. To achieve a softer look that is more suitable for the beach and quicker on vacation, I have some essentials I literally don't leave the house without. I went for a hike this morning and these were the things I put on to prep, I am talking bare minimum here. Enjoy.

COTZ Flawless Complexion 
mineral tinted sunscreen 

I am obsessed with this product. I have been a die-hard user and wearer of COTZ for years. This product never breaks me out, it has just a touch of tint that evens out my complexion without making me look like I have a full face of foundation. It has always protected me from sunburns and rosacea. It's my go to summer essential and you can pick it up directly from COTZ by clicking here.

Rarity Nails
100% polish nail wraps

Suns out toes out right? My feet are not cute, especially after being shut away from months during the winter. And I really don't have the time (or flexibility) to paint my own toes and let them dry. That's why nail wrap are amazing. They adhere like stickers (no heat necessary), and give your nails are perfectly polished and done up look. These make my nail game so much easier and they take less than 10 minutes to apply. The picture on the left has Enchanted Mermaid being shown but they have over 70 different designs. You can get yours for only $5 here.

Simply Smita
Original Lip Balm

This lip balm is the bomb. I am so hooked. My lips stay feeling hydrated for hours, a little goes a long way and it just works. Plus it has all the ethical things that make you feel good about buying it. It uses fair trade shea butter, has recycled packaging, is hand made in a small batch, made in the united states, cruelty free and organic. What could be better? Oh yeah, it's only $3. So what are you waiting for? Get hooked. You can click here to pick your up now.

Brow Goals

This three in one brow product is seriously amazing. You will not want to miss out. It has a brow pencil to fill in gaps and sharpen your brow look, along with a matching powder to gently fill your brows. It also has a spoolie end that allows you to brush them as well as to distribute and blend product. You'll never need another brow option again. I get the Totally Taupe but they have a few shades, although I do think the blonde bombshell is a little to yellow, and the Hot Cocoa has a red tone I did not expect. But the taupe is the perfect shade for most people, and if you have a darker complexion the Dark Chocolate is great. Pick up yours and get Brow Goals for yourself here.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

REVIEW: Color Edge Hot Spray

Packaging - 2 (not very good)
Scent - 3 (average)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)
Finish - 5 (excellent)
Heat Protection - 5 (excellent) 

I am going to start out by talking about the things I adore about this product and address the low points later. This is a a heat protection spray, but it is completely detection-less. It is weightless and matte, so your hair isn't heavy or shiny after. It is perfect for those with fine or greasy hair. A little goes a long way too which is so nice. It has become m go to for fine haired clients.

So the packaging got 2 stars and those were because it is functional and durable. I love the fine mist quality of the spray nozzle. But I hate everything else. The print is hard to read, and the bottle is translucent, which shows off the muddy green hue of the product that isn't super attractive.

The other thing that brought the score down is scent. I actually adore this scent. It has a musk to it that I love and an earthy tone like wet cement after it rains. It kind of reminds me of freshly laundered towels. But I have found that not all my clients and coworkers like the smell. And I have yet to find someone whose response to it is "it's okay". People seem to either love it or hate it. Regardless the smell doesn't linger long, and if you've been on the hunt for protection for your fine and greasy hair, this is likely your solution.